Pivotal moment for Johnson as Indie SAGE issues coronavirus emergency statement

An explosion and coronavirus Covid-19
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The group of leading scientists known as Independent SAGE has issued an emergency statement via its weekly video briefing. The statement doesn’t hold back and advises that the final stage of the UK government’s roadmap to ease coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions should not proceed.

A pivotal moment for the Johnson government looms.

Emergency statement

On 4 June, Indie SAGE (Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) announced that its weekly live briefing included an emergency statement:

Read on...

The Indie SAGE emergency statement was issued by University College London virologist professor Deenan Pillay. It said that Indie SAGE “strongly advises” the UK government not to progress with its final stage of the pandemic roadmap, commencing 21 June.

With regard to the Delta (Indian) variant, Indie SAGE warned that it’s spreading widely across England. It states:

We are currently witnessing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in England. Public Health England figures released on 3rd June suggest that the Delta variant has spread widely across the UK and is continuing to spread, that it has higher infectivity than the previous circulating variant, and that it is more likely to cause disease and hospitalization.

There is increasing evidence that vaccine efficacy is compromised against this variant, and that individuals remain at particular risk until they receive two doses. There is some evidence that protection from two doses wanes after a number of months, particularly in the elderly. Meanwhile, cases are surging in school aged children, and spreading into the community, particularly amongst those yet to be fully vaccinated. It is clear that the link between infection and hospitalization has not yet been fully broken.

Indie SAGE also warns that:

As things stand, it is very difficult to justify progressing with the last stage of the roadmap.

Instead it makes a number of recommendations:

  1. Strengthening financial and practical support to those requiring isolation following symptoms or a positive test, or for those in contact with positive testing individuals;
  2. Ensuring adequate ventilation and infection control measures within indoor venues (e.g. schools, workplaces, hospitality), with rigorous monitoring, certification of venues, and  sanctions where these measures are not undertaken;
  3. Reinstating face coverings for secondary school children, and providing resources to enhance classroom ventilation
  4. Doing away with the red/amber/green travel stratification and implementing comprehensive border control with managed quarantine, in order to avoid the importation of novel variants and the exportation of UK infections;
  5. Further accelerating vaccine rollout, and ensuring completion of two doses, to provide protection from infection. Boosters for vulnerable populations should be considered urgently by JCVI;
  6. Adequately resourcing the global vaccine initiative, to ensure control of transmission worldwide.

Pillay also told the Guardian that:

There should be no laxity of protective measures like social distancing and the rest of it. Infections are rising and it’s essential people know the risks

Delta variant and vaccine effectiveness

Indie SAGE also issued a summary table of the variants. It includes effectiveness figures for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines in relation to the Delta variant:

Quick guide to variants of concern in the UK

Good and bad news

The news is mixed.

Public Health England (PHE) epidemiologist Meaghan Kall tweeted:

Data also shows there have been more than twice as many outbreaks of the Delta variant in schools than in workplaces:

Blood on his hands

As for the government’s own risk assessment on the Delta variant, a number of concerns are highlighted:

Delta is predominant and all analyses find that it has a very substantial growth advantage. The observed high growth rate is most likely to be due to a combination of place based context, transmissibility and immune escape.

In other words, the high growth in the variant is likely due to local conditions, rate of transmission, and levels of vaccination.

At the beginning of the Indie SAGE video, professor Alice Roberts warns we may now have entered a third wave of the pandemic. Indeed, professor Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told the Guardian on 30 May:

Unless there is a miracle, opening up further in June is a huge risk. The rise in cases we are seeing now should cause a reassessment of the most recent relaxation.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson already has blood on his hands. So, to avoid thousands more deaths from the virus he must learn from his government’s past mistakes. And this time, relying on a mass vaccination programme as a ‘get out of jail’ card may not suffice.

Featured image via Pixabay / Pixabay

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  • Show Comments
    1. …but deaths are going down. Canary you are losing credibility increasingly quickly.

      Even a M$M journo recognises the malaise amongst the GB copywriters/wanabe journalists


      Your ‘Left/Centre/Right’ criteria is as redundant as your slavish attachment to the Convid narrative, which is an Establishment narrative of control. By the way did anythng happen on the streets of London on Saturday 29th May 2021.

    2. The idea that ANYONE is “going to jail” – except any protestors – is utterly farcical. EVEN IF it was directly proven that BloJo and Handcock personally shoved elderly patients with known covid into protection-free (And no PPE) private nursing homes, with the INTENTION of killing them right there on record, there will be no jail time for them.

      Anthony B’Liar quite openly made a deal with Bush to start an ILLEGAL WAR, and yet several “Inquiries” later the war-criminal is still running around laughing and giving Grundiag interviews and articles, and many of his henchmen are manuouvering to rejoin the Shadow Cabinet.

      BloJo could, to paraphrase one of his heroes, “Walk over Westminster bridge and shoot people in the face, and nothing would happen to him”.

      However, if you demonstrated and caused “Annoying” levels of noise, you will get 10 years. Or if you reveal war crimes, you will get tortured in a UK max security prison until you die.

      This is simple reality.

      Funny that school-leavers aren’t taught this, lol.

    3. The problem here is the detractors are slamming an Independent SAGE, thereby endorsing the SAGE view, which is I am not sure what they intended. I read the article in the link. All of it. There is not much substance in it. Notice the Trumpian ‘it’s only the flu’, ‘it’ll all be over by May ,(last May). So essentially, while ‘not being a Covid denier’, manages to appear as one. This is not serious journalism. Is everything rosy in the garden as regards the handling of things?.
      Does that mean we should deny their is a serious virus, because the government ,and it’s ‘adviser’ made poor choices ( for UK tax payers) in giving contracts to companies that were not equipped to handle them. Well,no.
      The very fact that ‘lanterndude’ refers to Convid narrative, gives lie to the fact that this is indeed conspiracy theory. There are also incorrect figures given for deaths in some countries. Much of this narrative has been debunked in various Fact Checking sites.
      Curiously, in saying, there is not a problem, these detractors also want ‘China investigated’. For what, if there is no problem?. As for another ‘commen’t. on here, we can ignore it. ‘She ‘ is ‘out of her tree as usual.
      I heartily endorse the, in particular, the last 3 sentences of gnu’s comment.(all of it really)

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